How to Start a Marijuana Delivery Service in Delaware

The first state-monitored medical marijuana dispensary in Delaware opened in 2011 and was licensed as a “Compassion Center.” There were plans to expand the dispensary system to all three Delaware counties, but the process was impeded four years after the first bill was passed.

In the state of Delaware, one must have a compassion center in order to make deliveries. Then, deliveries may only be carried out to registered medical marijuana patients with specific documentation.

Since a compassion center is required before any deliveries are made, it’s important to know how to open one. Medical marijuana dispensary licenses in Delaware are issued by Delaware’s Office of Medical Marijuana by using a point system. The office reviews all aspects of an application according to a wide range of criteria. All legal entities seeking to obtain a Compassion Center license should be non-profits and meet all zoning requirements in order to be eligible in the application process.

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    The medical marijuana program in the state of Delaware started up in May of 2011. This was when the governor signed a law authorizing medical marijuana dispensaries, known in Delaware as “compassion centers,” as well as the possession and use of prescribed medical marijuana. According to this change, compassion centers must be non-profit and regulated by the state.

    There are three counties in the state of Delaware, and, according to this law, each county is allowed to have a minimum of one compassion center. This number may rise if the number of medical marijuana patients rises.

    When was cannabis made legal
    When was cannabis made legal

    It took a while to get dispensaries to actually become operational, and the first one did not open until June of 2015. Unfortunately, the program has been stopped recently because of concern over federal intervention. This could change, so it’s important to check into what the current status is if you want to open a business in Delaware.

    Assuming the program does start up again, compassion centers must provide their own supply by cultivation their own marijuana product. This is considered vertical integration and is required by any compassion center within Delaware. Adult-use may enter the legislation soon, especially since the program’s slow start and the effect that has on patients in need.

    How many dispensaries are there in Delaware

    When the program started, three licenses were allowed, and all three were given out to compassion centers. These three centers are all open and running currently.

    How much money is there in the Delaware cannabis market

    In 2016, medical sales got as high as $1,700,000. By 2021 this number will likely get to $5,000,000. If legislation for recreational use of marijuana does pass, then the 2021 amount for adult-use (recreational) sales is expected to get to $46,500,000.

    License requirements for delivery service owners

    License requirements for delivery service owners
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    Because all three licenses have already been given out, applications are not currently open. This could change as the patient base increases, however, so it’s a good idea to prepare nonetheless.

    Dispensaries (compassion centers) that are planning on delivering their products to licensed and registered medical marijuana patients are required to have full documentation of these deliveries. The exact amount of marijuana needs to be included in this documentation, as well as the date of transport, the compassion center’s identification number, and a contact number. This ensures that the compassion center is actually the one carrying out these deliveries and prevents any illegal activity.

    The Office of Medical Marijuana in Delaware would review applicants who are applying to have a compassion center (which would include delivery service) in Delaware. The Division of Public Health has provided the following criteria via a point system.

    An applicant can get a maximum of 90 points. The points are allotted as follows:

    5 points: safety, security, suitability of the location

    • Zoning compliance, convenience of location (geographically)
    • Plans for diversion prevention, security, and safety sufficiency
    • Plans for packaging and labeling
    • Plans for contaminants and potency tests, quality assurance
    • Plants for recordkeeping of agents and products for tracking security and safety

    30 points: scope of services responses

    • Plans for services and operations
    • Plans for dispensing, packing, and labeling
    • Plans for training and staffing
    • Capability of cannabis cultivation without the use of pesticides
    • Variety of products, supply, and paraphernalia
    • Plans for compassionate need
    • Diversity of product line
    • Plans for long-term storage and recordkeeping

    25 points: Vendor experience, qualifications, and stability

    • Relevant experience and character of board members and principal officer
    • Oversight of administration and by-laws
    • Details of the quality assurance program
    • Proof of sufficient capital; business plan with funding sources
    • Capability of working in cooperation with other compassion centers

    Pass or fail:

    • Format of submission
    • Status as nonprofit
    • Proposed location suitability and local zoning
    • Meets mandatory requirements for recordkeeping, oversight, and security
    • Prospective principal officers’ and board members’ suitability

    Financial requirements

    There is a certification fee to be applied for and paid by compassion centers every two years in the amount of $40,000. At the time of application, a $5,000 application fee (which is non-refundable) must also be paid.

    How much does a marijuana delivery service in Delaware make?

    Marijuana dispensaries and delivery services generally bring anywhere from $50,000 a year up to millions, or even tens of millions of dollars.


    marijuana business timeframe

    The time frame varies greatly on how long it takes to get a cannabis business up and running, but it can often take one year or more to get finances in order, acquire necessary licenses, get suppliers and employees lined up, etc.

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      Consulting companies that can help open a marijuana delivery business in Delaware

      Looking to start a marijuana delivery business in Delaware? The consulting companies listed below provide a wide range of services from helping with state licensing requirements and applications to running and stocking your business.

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